KP NAB shows no tangible development in mega scams

The News

PESHAWAR: Despite the passage of more than one year, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has not shown any tangible development in mega scams of the province.The investigation of Malam Jabba has already been completed and a reference has been sent to the headquarters for approval from the executive board of the bureau, but a decision about filling of the reference by the board is still awaited. The NAB KP has shown poor performance in the mega scams including Misuse of Helicopter case against Prime Minister Imran Khan and others, Billion Tree Tsunami, Ehtesab Commission, Bank of Khyber (BoK) and other mega scams. In another case of Bus Rapid Transit, the supreme court issued restraining orders on 4th September, 2018 but the NAB KP is not pursuing the case vigorously to vacate the stay orders.
Several references were dismissed by the accountability courts due to lack of interest and poor investigation of the NAB officials. On the other hand, the NAB KP has facing shortage of five prosecutors out of 12 sanctioned posts, for which hiring process has been initiated. Sources said that there are various reasons for less development in the mega scams including transfer of DG NAB KP Farmanullah during the investigation of the mega scams in the province. Recently, Mujahid Akbar Baloch has been posted as DG NAB KP. The sources confirmed that he was working as director human resource in Quetta bureau and lacks experience in investigations into mega scams.
NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had issued instructions to probe mega scams on public complaints, but the NAB KP chapter has not been able to complete investigations into mega scams during more than a year despite the fact that the NAB chairman has issued directives to complete all cases within stipulated time of 10 months.
It is pertinent to point out here that the NAB chairman on Wednesday while chairing the executive board meeting said the NAB is strictly pursuing the policy of “accountability for all” across the board as per law and the NAB’s foremost policy is to take mega corruption cases to their logical conclusion in accordance with the law.
According to documents, the Malam Jabba scam had come to surface on January 7, 2018. The NAB chairman has declared it a classic example of misuse of authority and abuse of power and ordered an inquiry to be completed accordingly. In the inquiry, the NAB KP had recorded statements of the former chief minister Pervez Khattak, now the defence minister, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Sports Minister Atif Khan, Principle Secretary to PM Azam Khan after summoning them to the bureau. The NAB sources confirmed that investigations have been completed and a case was sent to the NAB headquarters. However, the NAB executive board will approve filing a reference in the accountability court, but the case is still pending since long. The NAB KP has already declared Malam Jabba scam a mega fraud.
The second high profile case is misuse of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa helicopter, which was reported on February 2, 2019. It alleged that Imran Khan being chairman of PTI has illegally used the KP government helicopter without any lawful authority. The PM had appeared on August 7, 2018 on a call up notice at the regional bureau and recorded his statement. The NAB sources said he was given a questioner but he has not sent it back nor appeared again before the NAB KP.
Another mega scam is Billion Tree Tsunami, which was unearthed by the media and the chairman NAB then took notice of irregularities and ordered an inquiry on April 5, 2018, but the NAB KP has not been able to complete the inquiry even after the government took action against 350 employees on charges of corruption and malpractices.
The NAB sources confirmed to this scribe that several committees are working on this huge project and some of the allegations are established. Another mega case is the KP Ehtesab Commission, which is pending with the NAB KP since long.
It was revealed that illegal appointments were made by the DG without following the set procedures.
Another case of illegal appointments in the Bank of Khyber was also handed over to the KP NAB after dissolution of the Ehtesab Commission.
Although the stay order was vacated by the Peshawar High Court, but the NAB KP was not aware of the court decision. However, now the NAB has initiated an inquiry against the officials of BoK.

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